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Coolant Leak Mystery

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Humble Dude
New User

Mar 13, 2016, 1:14 PM

Post #1 of 3 (655 views)
Coolant Leak Mystery Sign In

Hi Guys,

The car is an 1981 Ford Thunderbird with about 84,600 plus miles with an eight cylinder
engine. I don't know the exact size of the engine. Here is the problem. When I drive
around town and come home to park the car in the garage, a small puddle of coolant leaks
on the floor of the garage. It's about one third of a quart of water/coolant that ends
up on the garage floor. After the puddle is created, the leaking stops. The puddle is
located up front on the passenger side. It is located near the radiator. I just had new
water hoses put on, so I don't think it is leaky hose, unless the hoses were not tightened
enough when they were put on. I figure if I had a hole in the radiator then I would lose
all the water/coolant in the radiator. I only lose about a third of a quart of water/coolant
each time I take a drive. Any suggestions?


Humble Dude

Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Mar 13, 2016, 1:26 PM

Post #2 of 3 (652 views)
Re: Coolant Leak Mystery Sign In

That could be a leak or it could just be spitting out the overflow. You need to have the cooling system pressure tested to find the leak.


We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Mar 13, 2016, 1:50 PM

Post #3 of 3 (644 views)
Re: Coolant Leak Mystery Sign In

#1 - Don't let it overheat. The only possible V8s would be the 302 or 351 (now AKA 5.0 or 5.8s) for that year TMK - they look the same. As Hammer Time suggesting a pressure test will reveal the leak as if you can see anything it will or should then be obvious.
Know how to check and carry extra coolant and how to add it - it's in owner's manual you should have.
Common for those engines like many would be water pumps - not DIY for many but you could check around. Takes a mirror to see a weep hole under water pump or run your finger UNDER items just done should be dry. Check with engine COLD!
These are tough engines still if not ruined so catch this and don't let it cause a real problem. Again it's not the fastest one to replace if water pump but no special tools a tech wouldn't have on hand,


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